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'As good as I've seen under Solskjaer' | Kilbane applauds United's defence

Eoin Harte
Eoin Harte

12:42 21 Oct 2019


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Manchester United put in their best defensive performance under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against Liverpool, according to Kevin Kilbane.

The former Ireland international was speaking to Off The Ball in Old Trafford after the game and was impressed by the Red Devils.

“Honestly, the only thing I can say changed today was a real desire from Man United to close down without the ball.

“They were so much better without the ball. I’d probably say it’s as good as I’ve seen them under Solskjaer without the ball today.

“When there were three at the back with Wan Bissaka and Ashley Young I think it suited them. United looked a lot more solid from a defensive unit,” Kilbane said.

The former Everton player was particularly impressed with young Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira as he frustrated Liverpool’s attack.

“The introduction of Pereira playing as a 10 - what he did today was he locked onto Fabinho. He stopped Liverpool’s attacks from going into Fabinho.

“He kept closing down Fabinho and even got close to Van Dyke a few times in the first half. Pereira set the tone for United. The two lads up front were excellent in spells.

“Rashford had spells without the ball where he wasn’t necessarily involved in the game but he continued to try to cause problems for Liverpool,” Kilbane commented.

Was it a missed opportunity for United?

While it was a much-improved performance from United, Kilbane felt that they could have gotten more from the game.

“I think they were the better side. But they invited too much pressure and sat far too deep in the second half.

“They never went to engage Liverpool further up the pitch like they did throughout the first half.

“The first-half performance was a really good way on maybe how to play against Liverpool. That’s the way that I think United lined up today,” Kilbane said.

Liverpool are still six points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League while United are down in 13th place.

However, Solskjaer’s side can take confidence from a good performance and will look to build on that form after a poor start to the season.

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